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T he adverse impact of extreme weather Already low-lying roads near coastal areas
caused by climate change affects
us all whether we live in the Arctic, Africa or Asia. While Singapore may be spared from the worst effects, it is still feeling the heat from climate change. Not only are annual temperatures setting new records, Singapore faces an existential threat from rising sea levels caused in part by melting ice caps and glaciers. Much of the country lies only 15 metres above the mean sea level, with about 30% less than 5 metres.
Speaking to Parliament during Budget 2019, Finance Minister Heng Swee Kiat said, “Climate change and rising sea levels threaten our very existence. As a low-lying nation, there is nowhere to hide when sea levels rise. Other small island nations like the Maldives are already facing risk of  ooding, with severe implications. To protect ourselves against climate change and rising sea levels, we will have to invest more.”
are being elevated. For critical infrastructure such as the planned Changi Airport Terminal 5, it will be built 5.5 metres above mean sea level. Singapore is also piloting the use of polders and dikes on Pulau Tekong to help us learn how to deal with rising sea levels.
Although it is dif cult to project spending needs way into the future, Mr Heng announced that the government will have to invest more to prepare Singapore for climate change. “We will continue to do our best to look forward, develop  scal plans well in advance, and put in place the right approach to  nance such long- lived major infrastructure,” he said. Together with the existing infrastructure needs, this will increase the total spending on infrastructure signi cantly.
Mitigating Urban Heat Intensity
The built environment sector has come under increasing scrutiny. As buildings account for about 40% of the world’s energy consumption, how can we design, construct and maintain buildings that are less energy-dependent, and less environmentally damaging?
Urban Heat Intensity (UHI) is a phenomenon common in cities. Urban areas are warmer than surrounding rural areas because of the heat generated by buildings, vehicles and trains. For Singapore, one of the densest cities in the world, built-up areas in the city can be up
to 7°C hotter than the outskirts.
A research initiative has been launched to explore different means to mitigate the UHI effect, from greenery to urban geometry. By varying building heights for instance, wind  ow can be improved. The use of light-coloured or

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